State Supreme Court Justice Daniel Doyle ruled Friday that the Huntington Building is not within a historic district and the town Heritage Preservation Commission lacks jurisdiction over the property.
The ruling appears to clear the way for Koch to sell the building to a developer who wants the 1870-era building demolished.
The building at 201 Fall St. is owned by Peter Koch, who wants to sell it to Circle K of Ohio, a convenience store and gas station chain that wants to demolish the building to make room for a new, larger convenience store and gas station on that site. A Circle K gas station and convenience store immediately to the east would also be demolished and a new, larger facility built on the combined parcels.
The HPC has asserted that under town codes, the building is in a historic district, requiring the HPC to issue a certificate of appropriateness for demolition of the Koch-owned building and the existing Circle K Nice n’ Easy gas station and for any new plans for the site, should demolition be allowed.
There is sentiment from the HPC that the building should not be demolished because of its historic nature and location.
Koch filed an Article 78 lawsuit against the town of Seneca Falls and the HPC over delays in a decision on the demolition permit application. Koch’s lawyer argued there were issues with the filing of the new town code when the village of Seneca Falls dissolved at the end of 2011. They said the new code did not go into effect in a timely manner.